Life keeps giving me lemons

In recent times, I’ve found my kitchen overrun with lemons so there’s only one thing to do with a glut of lemons – and that’s make a lot of puddings.

We were invited to Sunday lunch at the in laws and the last time we visited them I made lemon meringue pie so I couldn’t make that again. Hugely annoying, because I could live on nothing apart from lemon meringue pie for the rest of my life. Instead, I decided to make a rosemary and lemon mousse with rosemary shortbread and candied rosemary. Guess what’s growing really well in my herb garden?

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Lemon and rosemary is such a good combination – the tartness of the lemons pairs perfectly with the deep robust flavour of the rosemary and in a pudding it adds such a beautiful savoury note. I’m a big fan of herbs and spices in puddings. I found the lemon mousse recipe on Saveur.com but modified it slightly as the amount of sugar just made it a little too sweet even for my sweet tooth. For me, this is a lovely light dessert for a sunny summer evening.

Lemon and rosemary mousse (serves 6-8) 

  • Zest and juice of four lemons
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2in sprig of rosemary
  • 1 cup of sugar (keep aside 1/4 cup)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of double cream

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and 3/4 of a cup of sugar in a saucepan, add the lemon juice, zests and salt and stir in till it’s smooth and add in the sprig of rosemary. Put over a low heat and cook out till the curd resembles Angel Delight (for the Brits) or pudding (for the Yanks), took me about 8 minutes. Strain the mixture into a large bowl and chill.

In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar till it forms soft peaks. Fold this into the chilled curd till it’s all combined. Then whisk the cream till it too forms soft peaks then fold that in to the mousse. Put into the bowl(s) you’re going to serve it in, cover and refrigerate till you’re ready to eat it.

Candied Rosemary

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  • 3 x 1in sprigs of rosemary
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50g icing sugar

Candied rosemary is super easy to make and is a delicious snack too – I know right? Weird. But so yummy. Simply dip the rosemary into the boiling water then sprinkle over the icing sugar. Leave aside to dry then use to garnish the mousse just before serving. If you’re doing individual portions, you’ll need a separate sprig for each bowl.

Rosemary Shortbread

This is modified from a Mary Berry recipe for lavender shortbread. It makes about 20 shortbread biscuits

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  • 175g butter, softened
  • 3 tsp rosemary leaves, chopped finely
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt

Combine the butter and rosemary – this helps release the flavours of the rosemary into the baked biscuit. Then cream together the butter and sugar till it’s light and fluffy. Stir in the salt and flour and then bring the final dough together with your hands and give it a light knead. Split the dough in half and roll each piece to a length of 10cm. Wrap them in foil or cling film and refrigerate until the biscuit logs are firm.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (150C). Slice each log into 10 pieces, about 1cm thick. Arrange onto a greased baking tray and bake for 12-18 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

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